A couple of quick notes on Parshah Tazria before my husband and I start tackling the kitchen this afternoon, as per our Pesach cleaning schedule...
- Why is there mention of bris milah having to be performed on the eighth day, in the middle of the description of how many days a woman counts post-childbirth?
- Why do we have these whole drawn-out process of determining whether or not someone is afflicted with tzaaraas?
Similarly, the process of proclaiming a person as afflicted with tzaaraas carries a similar message. Why not just view the affliction and deem the person contaminated? Why the first week and then second week? In the case of an old affliction that has not healed, yes, the determination is immediate. For a new affliction however, the process is certainly drawn out.
When someone is afflicted with tzaaraas, it is a horrible embarrassment. Everyone knows that you have performed the given aveirah, and you are essentially excommunicated until you go through the necessary purification process, which is itself lengthy and humiliating. The purpose therefore is to provide the person ample time to do teshuvah and avoid having to endure this most public of punishments. You must go before the Kohen repeatedly, because Hashem hopes that in doing so, in having to face the Kohen who is the embodiment of purity and service to Hashem, you be humbled enough privately to do teshuvah and circumvent having to travel down the path to punishment.
We consequently find in both aspects of the parshah tremendous compassion on the part of Hashem, in His providing us the appropriate amount of time to return to our "normal" state of purity.
May everyone have a great Rosh Chodesh, and have an easy time with their Pesach preparations.